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Chinese community to celebrate its centennial

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ROTTERDAM – The Dutch in China are busy with Expo 2010 and other projects, while the Chinese in the Netherlands are about to launch the year-long centennial celebrations of their arrival in the Netherlands. A foundation is spearheading a busy schedule of events to celebrate the community’s milestone. A website,, soon to be launched, will inform the public about the program. The first Chinese workers were hired in 1911 to keep the country’s ports open during a nasty strike, which later put them in difficult situations. In the 1930s, many of the Chinese earned a living as peddlers, and by the 1960s and 1970s they operated over 2,400 restaurants in the Netherlands, one such establishment for every 6,000 people. By the 1980s they faced competition from other ethnic groups who began opening their own restaurants. Not all the Chinese hail from the same country. About half are from Mainland China, and others are from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Surinam, Singapore, and Malaysia. The Chinese community in the Netherlands numbers about 100,000. Currently, Chinese corporations are building a Chinese centre in Rotterdam.